The “one” that got away

I have to apologize to anyone who signed up with Spedia on my recommendation. I was wondering why i could not get my cheque, and when i tried emailing the company, the mail bounced back to me. Did a search on the Internet and learnt that the company has been defaulting on cheques payable to members since 2002 (or thereabouts). Everyone praised Spedia for its prompt payment, etc, when it first started but i guess things went downhill.

Feeling a little peeved ‘cos i’m eligible for a USD47.60 cheque from them. But i can only blame myself for being so latently passive that i didn’t submit a request for payment in the last 4 years! The last time i actually logged onto Spedia was when i was still staying in the hall! Sigh… it’s always the same lesson – u just gotta strike while the iron’s hot!

I’ve learnt over the years that inertia, whether it’s due to laziness or fear of failure, can lead to deep regrets later in life. I’m the most risk-averse person i know – right down to inane things like refusing to walk on drain covers for fear of it giving way. And this aversion to risk (and failure) has caused me heartache and regrets – regrets over things i failed to do, people i failed to cherish, and passions i failed to pursue.

I have 3 regrets in life. The first was not having shown enough care & concern for my “nanny” before she passed away. When i was young, my mom’s ex-colleague’s mother used to babysit me. After i grew older, i shifted back to stay with my parents but i would visit her (i call her “Auntie Nanny”) during the school holidays. Sadly, as i grew more independent, i spent more of my holidays with my friends and activities, and my visits to Auntie Nanny got less and less frequent. By the end of my primary school years, i stopped visiting Auntie Nanny totally. I used to tell myself, it’s ok, the next holidays i would go visit… and i would buy her fruits… or when i grow up, i’ll definitely visit her more and buy her things that she likes…. but i’m not going to get the chance to do that ‘cos Auntie Nanny passed away when i was in secondary school.

Whenever i think of Auntie Nanny, i can’t help but cry ‘cos i really miss her and i know she loved me very much. Her love for me did not diminish even when she started taking care of her own grand-daughter. I remember during Auntie Nanny’s last days, i visited her a few times at her home. By then, her memory wasn’t very good anymore and sometimes she would ask her daughter why i didn’t visit her, when i saw her just the day before.

I really miss Auntie Nanny. I was a lot closer to her than my own grandmothers. I also miss Uncle William, Auntie Nanny’s husband a lot. He passed away when i was in primary 4 and ‘cos i was very young then, my dad did not bring me to the hospital to visit him on his deathbed. But i remember hiding in the toilet and crying very hard the day he died. My dad was at the hospital and my dad told me that he asked for me but they didn’t want to bring me to the hospital. I would have really wanted to go ‘cos i know this elderly couple treated me like their own.

Now, all i have left from them is a rocking chair that Auntie Nanny gave me when my parents & i shifted to Bedok Court. That was in 1986 and the rocking chair was a housewarming gift from her. Although the chair is only meant for children, and the seat’s been damaged (first by a primary school classmate and i never quite forgave her for that… then permanently broken by the most idiotic, rambunctious freak that happens to be my cousin), the rocking chair’s still in my room. I’m never going to throw it away ‘cos it’s a gift from Auntie Nanny. I also have this small decorative green and gold clock that Auntie Nanny gave me…. she was terminally ill then and she didn’t have much assets to give away… so she started giving away these small treasures that were precious to her…. and hence precious to me.

In the first few years following Uncle William & Auntie Nanny’s death, i used to dream of them coming back to visit me. I wasn’t afraid that they were ghosts… and in fact, i was happy to see them in my dream. When i woke up, i would pray to God to give me the chance to see them in Heaven in future. I also prayed that God would help me tell them that i love them and i would never never ever forget their kindness & love.

The 2nd regret i have is regarding a choice i made in JC. When i was younger, i used to be extremely headstrong and stubborn. Everything was “black and white” to me. I wasn’t one to allow for grey areas, and every choice i made had to be “right” or “wrong”. I was supposed to be still “attached” then… though i hadn’t seen my boyfriend in 6 months. Reasons for that i’ll save for another blog entry…..

During that time, i started hanging out with a good friend of mine. We used to watch movies at the old Cathay cinema (next to the now defunct Picturehouse) and we would also go Plaza Singapura (the old building) to jalan jalan. One night, i was talking to this good friend on the telephone (don’t u miss the good ol’ days of phone conversations instead of the sms exchanges we have now?) and this friend sorta asked if he stood a chance. By then, i had already given up on my boyfriend and i had feelings for this good friend. But in wanting to be “black & white”, i said no. Which was just plain dumb.

Anyhow, this friend soon left Singapore to study overseas. Initially, we still kept in touch by phone but distance gradually won and we contacted each other less & less. That was in 1997. Skipping forward to 2001… this good friend graduated and returned to Singapore. I just broke up with my 2nd boyfriend then (oh dear… if my mom reads this, she’s going to flip ‘cos she never knew i was attached before… wahahaha) and confided in this good friend.

I remember our first meeting / outing after he came back was to Katong Shopping Centre to have chicken rice. (OMG… i can even remember the last meal we had together before he went overseas to study was at Parkway’s Burger King and we had BBQ Bacon meal…and we took no. 12 home… Iceman – and u thought i was being overly sentimental about the hp cover). Anyway, we eventually got together… but it didn’t last very long. Somehow, things just weren’t the same anymore. I could regale u with many accounts of happy memories… but it doesn’t matter. Although i sometimes dream of what could-have-been, it really doesn’t make a difference. The point is, once u let slip an opportunity, even if it came by again, it would never be the same. As a Chinese saying goes, 过了这个村,就没有这个店. (Once you pass this village, you won’t find the same shop.)

Sigh… it isn’t good to have an elephant’s memory when it comes to things that happened in the past. I shall leave my 3rd regret for another entry. This is getting too depressing…. i can’t believe this deluge of thoughts came just from a stupid cheque that got away… sheesh…

2 Responses to “The “one” that got away”

  1. 1 Iceman

    ummm…unlike u, I don’t have an elephant memory…What hp cover u talking abt?

  2. 2 upt0wngal

    aiyah, i remember once i met u for dinner in the east… then i was rushing for time lah… came from orchard… and left my fave hp sock with a bunny on it in the toilet at wisma. and i STILL can’t find an exact replica. 🙁

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June 2005